Nexus 5 camera

Update to bring faster camera with improved autofocus and contrast

Update: The official Nexus Google+ page has put out a post confirming that Android 4.4.1 will be rolling out to the Nexus 5 starting today, bringing the aforementioned camera improvements.

Original Story: The Nexus 5's camera has been one of the major points of contention for the device. As we pointed out in our review, it wasn't necessarily bad, just weird. The camera of Google's new Android flagship tended to be slow to focus, slow to launch end even slower to take photos — even if it was capable of producing great-looking images in HDR+ mode.

And it appears Google's been busy in the month since the device's release, as new details emerging today reveal that significant work has been done to speed up the device's image capture speed while also enhancing photo quality. The Verge reports that Google has overhauled a number of aspects of the Nexus 5's camera software in the upcoming Android 4.4.1, improving camera app launch times and shortening shutter times to give faster capture speeds. Increasing the camera's frame rate also allows autofocus to work faster, eliminating some of the frustrations many have experienced on the current firmware.

In addition, HDR+ mode has grown a progress indicator to give users a better idea of how long things are going to take. And photos taken with the new camera software are less washed out than before, with more vibrant colors and more contrast, as well as more accurate white balance.

So it certainly appears that Android 4.4.1 — said to be rolling out in a matter of days — could be a significant update for the Nexus 5, addressing one of its biggest pain points.  As always, though, the real test will come when thousands of regular users get their hands on Google's improved camera app.

Source: The Verge


Reader comments

Android 4.4.1 update coming with Nexus 5 camera fixes [update]


Faster shutter speed is great, but the camera improvement I'm really looking forward to is faster application load time. I've missed a couple of shots because the camera takes a few seconds longer than it should to open.

Sent from my iPhone

faster camera launched speed, capture speed,and more. I updated my nexus 5 yesterday by adb sideload. I enjoyed this new update.


I barely hear any of the ringtones when I get a text or call, the alarm couldn't wake up Superman and music is really low. My old Rezound's external speaker blows this away. Audio in the headphones is kinda weak too. I knew I would miss Beats Audio. I hope we get a fix.

I have a hard time believing the Rezound is better than any phone at anything. I had one; biggest piece of junk, ever. It's a sad day when you have to pull the battery to end a phone call because the screen is completely unresponsive. I'll never buy another HTC.

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Well, he only said that the Rezound's external speaker and sound performance were better. I don't have any trouble believing that at all, since that was the Rezound's entire selling point.

Sent from my iPhone

try a mp3 file for a ringtone i had my volume up all the way and it freaked me out how loud it was, I have my ringtone at half volume.

This is by far my biggest problem with Nexus 5. I have never experienced such terrible sound recording. I hope that this will be addressed. This is my first Android and I am frustrated that all of my video recordings sound painful upon playback.

I've taken about 3 pictures with my phone so I don't really care. It is nice to see they are able to fix things like this with software though for those phone photographers out there.

A more concerning thing to me that I hope is included in this update is how text reflow doesn't work on Android 4.4 in browsers. It makes reading non-mobile websites a pain in the ass because you now have to scroll left and right since text will not automatically fit to the screen anymore when you zoom in.

Double tap in Chrome (and beta) does exactly what you're looking for. Nothing to fix unless I'm misunderstanding you.

Yeah, that works to a point. The problem is if you zoom in further, like if the text is still too small to read it will not reflow. In the past you could zoom way in and it would still reflow. A lot of websites, even when I double tap, on a 1080p screen look way too small. Zooming in further to a readable level will not reflow like it used to unfortunately.

I hate reading small text and loved text reflow so I completely understand how you feel. Go into settings in chrome and go to accessibility. You can set the smallest text size to something >100% and this will make the fonts bigger in a way that preserves the formatting of the webpage much better than text reflow ever did. Using this setting I don't miss text reflow at all.

I have heard reports of 4.4.1 being found on the N4 and N7 devices. Wonder if there will be anything rolled out for those too or is this just N5 at this point? And if it does roll to other nexus devices, what are the changes?

Posted via Android Central App on OG Nexus 7

I've been trying out the camera mod on XDA. Made quite a difference. Curious to see what the update has to offer.

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I've already requested an RMA for mine. Hopefully the new one will work better with the software update.

Why would you RMA for a replacement because of that??? Kind of a dick move to Google, don't you think?

Posted via my Nexus 5

If all that was wrong was the camera and it was said before that an update could help you RMA'd for nothing. In fact you are playing roulette as far as getting a new one without defects.

Did you know, if you RMA a device that isn't faulty, that Google can charge you for the shipping costs?

So, if that happens, you essentially paid for a free update, simply because you lacked patience.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

Perfect timing Google! Haven't purchased a moto X yet and now i get to make a more informed decision if people can test the 4.4.1 update on the Nexus 5.

Great article, but I'm more interested in how it will perform for the average user.

If the fix works, it may end the "Note 3 vs. Nexus 5" debate I am having with myself.

If you are considering the Note 3, and are not afraid of the size. There is no debate.

Even with touchwiz there is no category that the Nexus 5 wins.

Battery, screen, camera(even with these improvements), features, all note wins.

Price, there is a nexus win but if you are considering the Note, more than likely that is not a huge concern

So where is the competition for the Note 3? Oh right there isn't any...

Yeah but that wasn't the debate he has, and LG loses a lot of points on their slipshod upgrade schedule and unknown support schedule

So where is the competition for the Note 3? Oh right there isn't any...

If The Verge likes it, it's probably very good. They tend to be critical of just about any Android camera.

Why does it need it? Because it's a newer build? You should be nothing but impressed the Moto X is on Kitkat already. If you really want or "need" to be on the latest and greatest Android software, get a Nexus. Like me ; p I'll be happy to see a Moto Nexus one of these years, no doubt.

because the Camera on the X is still...lacking

I am guessing it will take a little time to bake these improvements into the Motorola camera app

Kinda what I said

So where is the competition for the Note 3? Oh right there isn't any...

Its funny how much everyone bashes the camera. I was at the Seahawks game this week and people with icraps were telling me how good my pictures were compaired to the ones they were taking

Shhhh don't talk about real life experiences too much on forums, it upsets people. N5 camera is definitely one of the better smartphone cameras I've used for any length of time (quite a lot across platforms). It MUST just be my skillz and eye for the shot, yo!

Only thing I really like better is how the iPhone camera lens is so small and flush with the back. It looks a lot nicer on the phone.

Actually I am not stretching anything. I had about 5 people at the game tell me that as well as a few more that I was showing them pictures of the Seahawks beat down the day after. ALL icrap users. In my opinion the camera is not as bad as everyone thinks!

It is not as terrible as some make it out to be but it is far, far below the Iphone, Note 3, S4, G2 and the like....

Not saying that it is better, I am just reporting the opinions I have recieved from icrap users. I came from an EVO 4G LTE and know that camera was better as well, still the N5 camera isnt bad.

A iphone5s even 4s is worth more than your crappy nexus5, even if they had broken screens and dead batteries. So calling them icrap is plain dumb. Before you guys say I am trolling I only have a galaxy s4

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And thats YOUR opinion, I will never ever touch an iphone again! to me it is CRAP. thats my opinion and you dont have to like it or care... BTW, I wont ever own another Samsung device again either...

How about you shut up, ok? Your fanboyism is to be laughed at. And you proved your own stupidity by saying you don't own any other phones. How can you judge a phone when you yourself don't have it?

Half ass camera, crappy audio, freezing in hangouts where can I buy this phone? Sounds like I would really enjoy this phone!!!

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I have a s4 not that great but thats what I have. Just going by all the complaints on this thread about nexus 5 sounds like its not that great. But if thats what you think fanboism is then you got me good. Yes I am the idiot.

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It's so nice having a phone where updates aren't blocked by a carrier. With my old Lumia 920 on AT&T's network, I'd probably never see such an update (or see it only after a long, long time) even though the camera UI weaknesses are the biggest (IMO) for the platform. With this Nexus 5, I turn around a couple of weeks after getting the phone and here come updates. Plus, it's amazing that a huge company like Google will roll out an update like this so quickly (though, of course, we don't know how long the release has been in the pipeline). Instead of the lip-service of saying "we're listening" (see the Windows Phone suggestions forum thread entitled "We need Microsoft to listen to our ideas and DO something"), Google is actually doing. I love this.

Wait, so let me get this straight, you're comparing the update process of Windows Phone 8 on a Lumia 920 (which I have, by the way), to the Nexus 5?

First off, we're talking about AT&T here, they NEVER push an update quickly, and when they do they'll just gut it of great features like the DataSense. If it was an unlocked phone getting updates from Microsoft (I get this with the developer preview app), you'll find that the delay between updates is far far shorter. It's obviously not at the speed as Google but we're talking about a device (Nexus 5) that Google has 100% free reigns over to update as they please. It's not like Microsoft can push out an update directly, they have to go through carriers.

So as both a Lumia 920 and a Nexus 5 owner, your statement is absolute garbage.

Regarding the statement that Microsoft isn't listening to the community, I 100% agree. If Microsoft wants Windows Phone to be a viable mobile platform, they need to listen to customer opinion rather than shoving their vision down people's throats like Apple does. However unlike Google, Microsoft is actually making good attempts to make their applications available on Windows Phone, Android and iOS. You can't say the same about Google's attempts (or I should say, lack thereof) to have their apps available on WP8.

Not really trying to sound like a Microsoft fanboy, simply because I'm not. I'm merely stating the fact of the matter regarding OTA v.s. non-OTA (carrier) updates.

So is this the new camera API that Googles been working on, or just specific changes to the N5? I'm assuming its the latter but I hope this update comes to the N4. Its always been said bad software is the reason for the average camera..hopefully we can get SOME improvements.

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Really enjoying the nexus 5 and kit kat looking forward for the update.

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This is great, but the audio bugs are far more annoying for me now....I hope at least some are addressed in this update.


I'm happy they are updating the camera software but I'm really hoping that 4.4.1 will fix the "stuck share menu" bug. Sooooo annoying.

I play with my food

I never had that issue, but my hangouts gets locked up once a day almost. When i try to type nothing shows up. Usually just have to close the app out but once in a while I have to reboot.

I've been having a similar problem with Hangouts, its been super laggy when opening the app and opening conversations as of late.

I havent had the lag issue, do you have a lot of conversations going? I usually only keep 5 to 10 and if I havent talked to someone in a few days I delete that thread.

Sounds good !that's the only thing I needed improvement . Nexus 5 has been great !

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Looking forward to it :)
I love my nexus 5, best phone I've owned
Taking pictures honestly hasn't been that bad in my experience, though I don't take a lot of pictures. But I've used it enough to get a feel for it.

This is really going to make the decision between the n5 and moto x tough. I guess that is a good problem to have though.

Well good news but that still leaves a weak battery and external speaker in urgent need of a fix as well.

Posted via Android Central App

The battery is the battery. It isn't going to get a whole lot better. If you ever see a 10% bump I will be shocked

So where is the competition for the Note 3? Oh right there isn't any...

Commence with the "where is my OTA?" complaints on Android Central, Google+, XDA etc,etc. rotfl
But seriously I'm looking forward to getting it :)

If you sideload this and you're using Chainfire's SuperSU, you might want to disable it before sideloading. There's a mean bug with the OTA.